Leesburg considers wastewater proposals

LEESBURG, Ga. -- The Leesburg City Council held a special called meeting Monday to discuss the city's Fiscal Year 2011 budget.

City Clerk Casey Moore told Council members the proposed city budget should be balanced with no use of Leesburg's general contingency fund, which currently is at around $250,000, and with only a minimal draw from the city's water and sewer contingency fund. That fund, according to Moore, is at around $492,000.

"The money that will come out of the water and sewer fund is encumbered expenses for the wastewater treatment plant," Moore said.

Councilman Bobby Wilson said the city's new Environmental Protection Division-mandated treatment plant, financed chiefly through a $5 million special-purpose local-option sales tax draw, could come online earlier than expected.

Mayor Jim Quinn told Council members they needed to be prepared to make a decision on an engineering contract for plant management once it is operational.

"At some point, we've got to make a decison," Quinn said. "I know the Water and Sewer Committee is going through the process of looking at resumes, but we've got to make a decision before we approve the budget whether to hire our own personnel or to contract with an agency."

Moore said the city had received two bids on the work required, and she expected at least one more before the bid date closes Sunday.

"I think what we need to do is take all bids that come in after Sunday, lay them out and compare apples," she said. "But whatever you decide to do, it's time that we got someone out there at the plant soon. They're starting to test the systems, and whoever is going to do the work needs to be a part of that.

"If you spend too much time looking at resumes and contract proposals, we could still be here a month and a half from now with no one in place."

The Council voted to meet at 5:30 p.m. on June 30 to take a final vote on the city's budget, which is expected to come in at around $3.6 million.